WashPost Strangely Hails Democrat Operative Sandra Fluke As an 'Independent Voice'

Feminist sensation Sandra Fluke had her 15 minutes of fame extended by a Washington Post puff piece by reporter David Fahrenthold on Tuesday. “Not done testifying” was the headline. Fluke aspires to be an "independent voice," despite the article displaying she was discovered earlier this year in a Google search by Democrats and has campaigned for Democrats ever since.

The official excuse for this extension of fame was “a debate between [no label!] Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart and conservative Bill O’Reilly.” The Fox News star proclaimed Fluke should buy her own birth-control pills:

“The poster person for the entitlement society is Sandra Fluke,” he said, joking that he’d left a pack of birth-control pills at will-call for her. “Sandra! Buy. Your. Own.”

Fahrenthold applied the plastic Anita Hill-went-to-Oral-Roberts pseudo-Christian spin:

In it, the straight-arrow daughter of a Methodist minister — who had worked her way from small-town Pennsylvania to Georgetown Law — became famous as a byword for entitlement and sex.

That hasn’t abated, even months later. “In the past, people would be ashamed of taking such a stand. But she continues to be self-righteous about it . . . that’s what makes her funny,” said Oleg Atbashian, a Florida-based conservative whose Web site, thepeoplescube.com, came up with popular caricatures of Fluke: She’s a slot machine, she’s a belly dancer, she’s got a collection of condom wrappers.

Atbashian says he tries not to let the jokes get too sexual. But he hasn’t removed a commenter’s post that shows Fluke facing a long line of male suitors, plus a horse. “I also don’t want to limit people too much,” he said.

The Post is digging into commenters? When building up Fluke as a victim, the Post will apparently go anywhere for examples. But here’s where it gets amazing. Fahrenthold discusses Fluke’s speech at the Democratic convention, but utterly skips over how she described Paul Ryan as a lady-killer (and she didn’t mean that metaphorically):

In that America, your new president could be a man who stands by when a public figure tries to silence a private citizen with hateful slurs. Who won’t stand up to the slurs, or to any of the extreme, bigoted voices in his own party. It would be an America in which you have a new vice president who co-sponsored a bill that would allow pregnant women to die preventable deaths in our emergency rooms.

This entire article shreds the idea that Fluke is some kind of "private citizen" instead of a Democratic campaign operative. But the Post actually spun this speech as a classy, professional effort by someone who’s still learning to be charismatic:

“You have to push through whatever that moment is that’s making you want to run and hide,” she told an audience in July. “Keep pushing through it. Because you have a responsibility.”

Since then, there have been good moments: At the Democratic National Convention, her practice paid off. Fluke had previously seemed rushed, unsmiling, joyless when she spoke in public. Now, she paused and smiled at the right times.

“Staying classy about it. She didn’t take it personally,” said Deborah Epstein, a mentor at Georgetown Law who oversaw a program where Fluke helped domestic-violence victims in the D.C. Superior Court.

Fahrenthold doesn't even seem to have perused his own newspaper's archives to spin Fluke as just a "private citizen." She chose to attend Georgetown University as a feminist crusade:

Fluke came to Georgetown University interested in contraceptive coverage: She researched the Jesuit college’s health plans for students before enrolling, and found that birth control was not included. “I decided I was absolutely not willing to compromise the quality of my education in exchange for my health care,” says Fluke, who has spent the past three years lobbying the administration to change its policy on the issue.

The Post story also ignored how Fluke is a hardcore soldier for the Libertine Left, a woman who also insisted that employers should pay for "transgenders" to receive free "gender reassignment" surgery, as MRC's Stephen Gutowski revealed:

"A prime example of direct discrimination is denying insurance coverage for medical needs of transgender persons physically transitioning to the other gender....Transgender persons wishing to undergo the gender reassignment process frequently face heterosexist employer health insurance policies that label the surgery as cosmetic or medically unnecessary and therefore uncovered."

The article never used the word “liberal,” and the word “feminist” arrived in paragraph 42. Two paragraphs later is a small dissent from a conservative woman:

That could be a powerful restatement of a feminist idea: Women’s careers deserve protection from sex, just as from sexism.

Of course, there are a lot of people who don’t agree.

“I really resist the argument that a woman can’t be free and equal without a pack of pills,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the antiabortion Susan B. Anthony List. “If we want it, we can get it [ourselves].... It seems very patriarchal that we could be bought off as women voters” with contraceptives, she said.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis